October 1962. In Cuba: Soviet ships off-load what intelligence reveals to be nuclear missiles. In Washington, President Kennedy and his advisers are in furious debate over how long they can wait to discover what the Soviets intend before dropping the first bomb. And, in Ithaca, New York, Margo Jensen - a nineteen-year-old Cornell sophomore-is swept up in a "bizarre concatenation of circumstances" that will make of her the "back channel" liaison between Soviet Premier Khrushchev and Kennedy. Events unfold too quickly for her even to ask "why me?" But the stunning answer is revealed bit by bit as she is drawn ever more deeply into the crossfire of infighting between governmental agencies; into desperate negotiations to avoid nuclear war; and into the secrets of the extraordinary legacy she inherited from the father she never knew.
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by Stephen L. Carter
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"CarterOs new suspense novel presents unusual challenges for narrator Bahni Turpin, and she rises to them expertly. The setup: A patrician African-American college girl is chosen to act as a conduit for secret negotiations between JFK and Khrushchev during the terrifying public standoff of the Cuban missile crisis. Sound far-fetched? Oh, get over it. Carter makes it plausible; Margo Jensen, though young, is quite a personage and what a great cover story: yet another pretty young thing dallying with JFK. Turpin brings it crackling to life, speaking in those still familiar 1960s voices as JFK, RFK, McGeorge Bundy, Curtis LeMay, and myriad other hawks and doves, spies, and jingoists as both sides struggle to avert or precipitate nuclear war. Delicious. B.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"
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